Tag Archives: property

Five minutes with… TLA Strategy Director of Property and Financial Services Paul Earnden

Next up in our Q&A series we have Paul Earnden, who joined team TLA four months ago as Strategy Director of Property and Financial Services.

Following on from his recent move at Prodo, a digital transformation and growth agency based in Chester, we talk to Paul about his role here at TLA below.

What have been your first impressions of TLA and its culture?

I was pleasantly surprised with the approach to technology and data. Our platform is an incredible piece of technology which is going to help us achieve great things in connecting in-market consumers to brands. Like any tech-based organisation, things have to be fast paced. But this is fast paced with real purpose, structure and driven by data. So much progress is made on a daily basis.

Finally, I’ve been really impressed with the entire approach to onboarding, our culture code and the effort made to ensure that everybody in the business lives and breathes “The TLA Way” and genuinely, I feel they all do!

You took part in our London to Brighton cycle in aid of NABS. What was the experience like?

The cycle was great…but very difficult! It was a great opportunity to meet so many companies, agencies and tech providers in a completely different environment: no big offices, no shirts and ties – just helmets and lycra..! I learnt a lot about NABS, our charity of choice, and now look forward to being part of further fundraising activity for them.

What is your role and the role of your department at TLA?

The role of my department is to grow TLA’s Property and Financial Services vertical into a major arm of our business. I’m working directly with mortgage brokers, lenders, estate agents and other financial services organisations to deliver incremental revenue with our technology. The role is a real mix of product development, customer acquisition and operations, it’s great fun!

What can you tell us about Movewell?

Movewell is a new consumer website we’ve developed that is designed to guide homeowners, or soon-to-be homeowners, through the tricky process of buying a home, moving home, remortgaging or selling their home. In its current form, it’s contains useful content, guides, checklists and calculators which assist consumers through the process. These consumers can then opt to utilise our broker matching service and, based on their circumstances, we will place them with a broker who will hold their hand through the application process.

How has the property industry evolved over the last 12 months?

The last 12 months have been interesting. I’ve been involved in the housing and property space for around six years now and, in that time, most change has been driven by technology and digital transformation.

Such steep advances in technology have allowed for some fantastic products and services to be created, but at the same time some businesses have gone all-in on this technology before it’s really matured. There’s a big wish in organisations to be using things like blockchain, machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and more – but sometimes without purpose or a real use-case.

Due to the access to technology, we’re seeing proptech startups get large amounts of VC backing and one major development has been a sharp increase in the amount of online estate agents, which has been an incredibly turbulent sector with major ups and downs over the last 12 months. I fundamentally believe that online estate agents have a place in the market, but it will take a while to get consumer buy-in and for people to drop their guards around selling a property online. The younger demographics will likely opt for this type of service, but they’re not necessarily the ones buying or selling houses right now.

What do you anticipate the next 12 months will look like for the industry?

I guess the biggest changes in the industry are probably going to be as a result of what happens within the political environment, and I don’t think anybody really knows what’s going to happen or how this could change the industry. Staying with the theme of digital transformation and technology, I think we’re going to see further utilisation of technology in order to build some great products. I’m a big fan of fintech, and the use of technology within the financial services industry. The mortgage industry has seen some great products from the likes of Mojo, Habito and Trussle, offering an almost end-to-end digital experience, allowing people to apply for a mortgage from their phone.

In the last year, I feel we’ve seen the beginning of the traditional, large organisations who’ve been challenged by the so-called challenger brands react. This will likely result in banks, lenders, brokers, and estate agents etc. building innovative tech products to challenge the challengers. The digital experience from some more traditional banks has started to slowly rival the likes of Monzo, Starting and Revolut and I think we’ll see a similar trend in estate agency and mortgaging.

Finally, I’d like to think that the creation and adoption of open banking will enable mortgage lenders and brokers to shorten the application to completion timeframe and, as a whole, increase the customer experience within the sector.

What role can Movewell play in helping the industry?

Movewell exists to give unbiased guidance to those in the middle of quite a complex buyer journey. These consumers are looking for the best product for their needs, and we can match those needs to a brand (such as a broker, lender, or estate agent) who are looking to deliver further, incremental revenue.

If you’ve got a question for the TLA team or want to know more about what makes us tick, why not get in touch?

Paul Earnden joins TLA to head up property business

Paul Earnden, the former director and board member of digital agency Prodo, has joined us to take on the newly-created position of strategy director for our growing property business.

Having expanded into the property market two years ago, following a decade and half in automotive, we welcome Paul at an exciting time for the business, with new technology soon to be launched.

Paul is tasked with developing and driving forward the company’s proposition across a number of property markets, including estate agencies and mortgage providers, helping our clients to acquire new clients in meaningful volumes.

“Paul brings a deep understanding of digital, marketing and product development,” commented TLA CEO Anton Hanley. “His experience of working with external service providers off-shore and on- to deliver technical solutions make him a great fit for where TLA is heading as a business.

“Paul will be responsible for researching and setting the strategy for the property vertical, leveraging our proprietary advertising technology to provide clients the highest quality of in-market leads available.”

Paul joins us after five years with Chester-based Prodo, where he led on strategy and sat on the agency’s board of directors. His remit there was to set the strategic direction for all clients from a customer acquisition and digital transformation perspective. These included the New York Times, RBS, Emirates Old Trafford and several clients in property and financial services markets.

Speaking of his new challenge, Paul said: “In the current era of digital disruption, I’m incredibly excited to be joining TLA. I am highly impressed with the technology offering and how TLA’s platform can be leveraged by brands looking to acquire customers in the property space.

“I’m looking forward to joining a well-established, 17-year-old tech company and growing the property business into a major part of TLA.”

TLA named in The Sunday Times’ Tech Track 100

The Lead Agency has been named as one of the UK’s fastest-growing technology companies by The Sunday Times’ Hiscox Tech Track 100.

Tech Track 100

Published in special pull-out in yesterday’s edition of the paper, the 18th annual listing ranks the country’s private technology, media and telecoms (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales over the last three years.

We’re a new entry in the table, placing at number 50 for the whole of the UK.

Disruptors and innovators

Tech Track receives applications from hundreds of companies every year representing a range of different sectors. Previous years have placed businesses that have gone on to achieve huge success, including Just Eat, The Hut Group, Shazam, Zoopla, Opta and Skyscanner.

As the companies listed above reflect, being included in the Tech Track 100 is about more than growth alone. Each one of those businesses has disrupted their industry through innovative technology and services, which is at the heart of what we do at TLA.

Team effort

TLA was founded by group CEO Anton Hanley in Wigan in 2002 and later moved to Liverpool, where the company has built one of the city’s biggest digital teams. The company now has offices in central London as well as a sister company in the US.

Commenting on what it means to earn Tech Track status, Anton said: “One of the great things about this form of recognition is that represents the hard work of everyone within the business. Every member of the TLA team has played their part in the growth and success we’ve achieved over the past few years.

“We also couldn’t have achieved this listing without the continued support and trust of our clients and partners. To them, we’d like to say a big thank you.”

Tech Track is our third league table inclusion of 2018, having been named as one of Europe’s fastest-growing businesses by the Financial Times as well as the fifth fastest-growing tech business in the north of the UK by Tech Nation.

Key trends in the UK property market

The UK Property Industry is continuously moving and evolving, with the unpredictable effects of Brexit looming, the ever-changing demographic structure and advances in technology.

Here are some of the latest trends and stories being discussed within the UK property market:

1. Cheaper to buy than rent

Despite an increase in rentals (Countrywide Research has predicted that by 2022, 20.5% of homes will be rental) evidence still points to buying property being cheaper than rental.

Research carried out by Santander reveals the average monthly rent in the UK is currently £912 per household, compared to monthly repayments of £723 for the average first-time buyer household. This means average savings of £189 a month or £2,268 a year for buyers compared to renters.

2. Online continues to grow

Homebuyers and sellers continue to turn to online estate agents thanks to the strong levels of service they receive.

Online agents increased their market share by 11% during the first quarter of the year, giving them 7% of the overall market.

Flexible contact hours, 24/7 customer service, face-to-face visits from local experts and lower costs are contributory factors for its continued growth.

3. The grey pound dominates the market

Younger buyers are outnumbered by older buyers in the UK property market due to the preferable wage to house-price ratio at the time of purchase.

Homeowners aged 66+ were responsible for around 43,000 property transactions in the first quarter of 2018, a 46% increase compared to the same quarter in 2017.

4. House prices keep climbing

Housing prices have shown a steady incline in recent years and property consultants, Strutt & Parker, predict that the figures will continue growing.

According to the UK House Price Index, as of April 2018, the average house price in the UK is £226,906. Prices have risen by 1.2% compared to the previous month and risen by 3.9% compared to the previous year.

These figures are supported by Strutt & Parker, who, despite Brexit uncertainty, have provided a five-year prediction on the housing market, with an estimated 18% rise in housing prices by 2022, growing 2.5% year-on-year.

5. Homeowners on the increase

Despite property prices continuing to rise, the number of homeowners has risen for the first time in 13 years.

Following the financial crash of 2008 that created a clash between wages and property prices, the Government has positioned accessible homeownership as a matter of importance.

Since the Help to Buy equity Loan scheme was announced, over 160,000 properties have been purchased, with 81% being made by first-time buyers. Meanwhile, Stamp Duty cuts will apparently save four-out-of-five first-time buyers up to £5,000. However, the cuts are mainly benefitting existing homeowners due to the rise in house prices.

6. New-build homes becoming more popular

A number of factors are driving an increase in homeowners, first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors choosing new-build properties.

Among the key reasons is higher energy efficiency compared to that of older properties. The HBF claim that occupiers of new-build homes save £629 a year through being more energy efficient. Other factors include the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme and the opportunity to customise new-build properties – saving money that might be needed for renovating an older property.

7. Shopping influences location

Online services from other industries are influencing location searches within the property market.

Location to schooling and transport services continue to be primary influences on purchasing decisions. But other location-based factors – such as access to local shops – are becoming less of a consideration in location choice thanks to online delivery services.

We reach thousands of UK homeowners every month, connecting them to property services that relate to selling and buying their home. To discuss your lead generation needs, contact us today.

Justin Thorne joins TLA to lead digital team

As we continue to extend reach within each of our verticals and improve the efficiency of our lead generation processes, we have appointed Justin Thorne as our new head of digital.

Justin (left) has joined us from neuromarketing company Lab, where he had spent three years and was responsible for leading its performance marketing teams. Prior to that role, he held senior marketing positions at Kenshoo and SmartFocus.

At TLA, Thorne will lead a team of digital channel specialists, UX designers and CRO specialists in creating intent and technology-led, lead generation campaigns.

His focus will be on developing strategies that help us connect with and nurture in-market consumers within automotive, property and education.

Justin’s arrival follows the appointment of Antony Neill as performance manager, who joined us from a technology business within the Bibby Line Group earlier this year.

Commenting on their arrivals, TLA’s CEO Anton Hanley said: “We continuously look for ways to improve the services we provide to clients and consumers, which includes recruiting people who can bring something special to our team. Justin and Antony have a wealth of relevant experience in marketing roles; but more importantly, they have the skills, enthusiasm and ideas to implement positive change within the business.

“Justin will help us extend our market reach, so that we connect with more of our clients’ potential customers at different stages of their buying journey; while Antony will drive performance improvements across each stage of our process to ensure the leads we provide are of the highest quality.”

Our growth is set to continue with a number of other exciting vacancies now live within our careers section